August 31, 2007

Five too many..

This is the fifth post since morning (and the 25th for the month)! Just shows what work goes on at office when you are hours away from the Long weekend. I amaze myself.. I just wanted to wish everyone a happy and safe Labor Day... with fireworks or not.. with family or not.. with friends or not.. With tonnes of fun and relaxation. I myself am looking forward to hell of a weekend with The Tarun Talkies. :D

Have fun.. Ciao!

Mommy's naivette

Yesterday on the nightly phone conversation..

Amma: Enga poyirunde? (Where were you?)
Me: I had gone for a musical
Amma: Oh.. Sandhya nanna padinala? (Oh.. did Sandhya sing well?)


My glorious India

Forbes listed 25 top destinations in India which are criminally underrated. I couldn't agree more. And no, it doesn't list the Taj Mahal. Being a staunch Indian myself, I have barely visited 8 of those 25. Check them out here:

State Quarter Collections

Like me, I am sure many of you must've noticed that many quarters we have as change here in the US, bear state names on the "heads" side. I was mildly interested when back in Iowa most quarters I had with state names bore Iowa's name. I don't know if the distribution of quarters is made partially to the respective state. And suddenly I had this motivation to collect all 50 state quarters. Its pretty worthless if you think about it.. just $12.50.. And also, maybe there's a place where you can buy everything all at once. But that would be boring. Collecting is fun. And so I began. But in time, I would always run out of cash for buses and I had to use my precious State quarters. Hmph. So today when I tricked a vending machine into accepting my $5 bill and giving me quarters in change without any purchases, imagine my surprise when 14/20 quarters it spewed were State Quarters and all different! And so my collection's begun again... And this time, I will save those quarters coz from tomorrow I am using a bus pass! :D

Note: All 50 states have not been "minted" yet. Read this for more information:

Mamma Mia!

It was my first ever Broadway musical and I thought it was tooo expensive at $80 each. That is, till I saw the show. I was a little reluctant to go in the beginning but am I glad I went or what.. It was incredible to say the least. And anyone who has any preconceived notions that one had to know all the songs before they went for the show, I have to strongly emphasize that as far as this one was concerned, that isn't true! It was extremely engaging, the performances absolutely stupendous and mannn, they can sing!!

The show with the intermission was just over 2 hours and 30 minutes comprising 22 hits from ABBA's collection. The songs were so tastefully placed with relevance to the story and everything gelled dramatically well. What amazed me most among many things were the performers themselves. Not only was their singing out of this world, they all look nice and danced great and acted brilliantly.. Bundles of talent! The lead performer, actress-singer-dancer Mary Jayne Raleigh was nothing short of brilliant. The story was simple and choreography seamlessly wove over 30 performers at the same time into a fantabulous fusion of music, color, costumes and performances... What I loved most was how these people were saying these dialogues and all of a sudden broke into songs and it wasn't the least bit odd. It wasn't odd when the other unrelated 20 people popped onto stage to dance and melted away towards the end of the song leaving the stage intact as before they'd entered. It was sort of analogous to a flashback in movies.. only that here its all happening in front of your eyes. The last part was my favorite. The encores, the curtain calls, the applauses... It felt entirely exhilarating at the end of the show and I was sure I could watch it all over again immediately if I could.

We had great seats for the price that we paid (Thanks Sandy for booking the tickets) and I enjoyed it enormously. Here's the official site for the musical: and I must urge each one of you to definitely go and see for yourself what I am talking about. No wonder this one's a global smash hit...

August 29, 2007

Link In

How many of you are a part of LinkedIn? Never heard of it? How many of you are a part of Orkut/Myspace, etc? Hmm... LinkedIn is a professional networking site where orkut is a social site. LinkedIn can be used for connecting with former colleagues, finding new jobs or helping others find jobs. Its very useful and if you're not a member already, I think it's high time you became one. Professional contacts count in future. Trust me.

Spiderman - a faroff reality

Thanks, Ganesh

August 27, 2007

The R rip-offs

No prizes for guessing what "R" is when I am talking about a very popular phone service mainly to call India from the United States. Sometime R introduced a new toll-free number for calling countries other than India. And I use this service a helluva lot for obvious reasons. Except that the service is sooo darned horrible that I plan to find new plans that would not just rip me off rate-wise but will most certainly not rip off minutes even though the call's not connected. What's been happening is that the automated voice says "Please stay on the line...." and it fades away into oblivion before getting cut, even. And then when you call back, the minutes have reduced. When its a cell phone number that you are calling, you get a measly 27 minutes or something per 5 bucks. And each time you call and it does'nt connect you lose a minute. And I have lost at least a 100 such minutes. And then what? I email Customer Service saying that they are cheating me. And they respond asking me to take it up with my credit card company. Not only do they not charge my friend taxes, which they charge me religiously each time I make a purchase, once I replied to their lousy email saying it was their fault all the way, they responded with a "good-will gesture" by crediting my account by................. $0.328. What the &%$&^)!(*$^ is that? Thats even lesser than the taxes I pay per 5 dollars! I have never felt more insulted. R's just losing my ~$50 a month service. Not that they care.

The other kind..

Disclaimer: I have nothing against gay people. This is just my first real encounter with one such person.

Remember how when you see someone in a pink T-shirt, its become common to remark.. "Thats so g*y." But you know what? It doesn't hit you or atleast doesn't hit you hard enough when you finally meet someone like that. I have interacted with this guy for over 20 days without a clue till one day he happened to mention it in a off-handish conversation. And thats when I sat and put the pieces together. The colorful t-shirts (I had attributed it to te sunny weather) and the lime green cell phone (hey that could just be funky). No, its not weird or wrong or strange. Just having never met someone like that and heard all these remarks all along the way in the US, when I finally did meet someone, I didn't realize it. Just goes to show how we have been influenced to think so by society.

August 23, 2007

Mon Chat

If I have a cat, it'll be male and I'll call him Kittadhri. Miss you JD.

The Feynman Experiments

Ok.. pretty soon everyone's going to be overdosed about Richard Feynman. I am currently reading what is largely considered his biography, "Surely you are joking mr Feynman". In one of the anecdotes, he conducts an experiment of how the brain remains connected in his dreams. How it tries to make everything that happens in the dream seem logical, giving you the illusion of the dream being real. How the idle mind exists on a separate plan from that part of your brain desparately trying to stay awake. Having slept a measly 4 hours last night, I was in great position to verify whatever he was saying, especially at a status meeting at the opportune hour of 3:00 PM. As I sat dazed with coffee in front of me, I slowly felt my eyes slide out of focus. My brain knew this was wrong and was doing its best to get back to earth. Meanwhile on the secondary plane, my imagination had started working overtime. As I remained cross-eyed perhaps, I imagined that I was in the Sistine Chapel observing the brilliant ceiling painted by Michelangelo. It wasn't hard to understand why. Because I had wiki-ed it a few hours of course. The detail was magnificent in the dream and I have always dreamt in color and remembered very minute details from my dreams. I can in fact be so pompous as to claim that for certain my dreams held more details and I remembered all of them more than Feynman himself. My eyes slid back to focus and the room zoned in on me. I sloppily picked up my coffee. Its also amazing when your half-asleep brain responds to someone looking at you or calling your name - Its almost like they splashed cold water on you. You are wide awake and all responsive.... for exactly one minute after which no one's paying you any attention and you return no favors. So this was on n off and on n off and like Feynman, I couldn;t draw any fantabulous conclusions. Except one that is. I should sleep earlier at nights.

August 21, 2007

~Office Dares~

Got this in a forwarded e-mail back when I was with CTS, and thought it was funny enough to share (though I can only assume about everyone has seen it already) - In fact though I've read everything, each time I read it I am foolishly cracking up sitting in a cube surrounded by people. Lol. I have highlighted my favorite ones in blue.

1) Run one lap around the office at top speed.
2) Ignore the first five people who say 'good morning' to you.
3) Phone someone in the office you barely know, leave your name and say, "Just called to say I can't talk right now. Bye."
4) To signal the end of a conversation, clamp your hands over your ears and grimace.
5) Leave your zipper open for one hour. If anyone points it out, say, "Sorry, I really prefer it this way."
6) Walk sideways to the photocopier.
7) While riding in an elevator, gasp dramatically every time the doors open.

1) Say to your boss, "I like your style" and shoot him with double-barreled fingers.
2) Babble incoherently at a fellow employee, and then ask, "Did you get all that, I don't want to have to repeat it."
3) Page yourself over the intercom (do not disguise your voice).
4) Kneel in front of the water cooler and drink directly from the nozzle (there must be a 'non-player' within sight).
5) Shout random numbers while someone is counting.

1) At the end of a meeting, suggest that, for once, it would be nice to conclude with the singing of the national anthem (5 extra points if you actually launch into it yourself).
2) Walk into a very busy person's office and while they watch you with growing irritation, turn the light switch on/off 10 times.
3) For an hour, refer to everyone you speak to as "Bob."
4) Announce to everyone in a meeting that you "really have to go do a number two."
5) After every sentence, say 'Mon' in a really bad Jamaican accent. As in "The report's on your desk, Mon." Keep this up for 1 hour.
6) While an office mate is out, move their chair into the elevator.
7) In a meeting or crowded situation, slap your forehead repeatedly and mutter, "Shut up, all of you just shut up!"
8) At lunchtime, get down on your knees and announce, "As God as my witness, I'll never go hungry again."
9) In a colleague's DAY PLANNER, write in the 10am slot: "See how I look in tights."(5 Extra points if it is a male, 5 more if he is your boss)
10) Carry your keyboard over to your colleague and ask, "You wanna trade?"
11) Repeat the following conversation 10 times to the same person: "Do you hear that?" "What?" "Never mind, it's gone now."
12) Come to work in army fatigues and when asked why, say, "I can't talk about it."
13) Posing as a maitre d', call a colleague and tell him he's won a lunch for four at a local restaurant. Let him go.
14) Speak with an accent (French, German, Porky Pig, etc) during a very important conference call.
15) Find the vacuum and start vacuuming around your desk.
16) Hang a 2' long piece of toilet roll from the back of your pants and act genuinely surprised when someone points it out.
17) Present meeting attendees with a cup of coffee and biscuits, smashing each biscuit with your fist.
18) During the course of a meeting, slowly edge your chair towards the door.
19) Arrange toy figures on the table to represent each meeting attendee, move them according to the movements of their real-life counterparts.

And if that wasn't enough for you... How to keep a healthy level of insanity:
1) At lunchtime, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.
2) Tell your children over dinner. "Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go."
3) Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.
4) Put your wastebasket on your desk and label it "IN".
5) Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten over his or her caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.
6) Finish all your sentences with "In accordance with the prophecy."
7) Dont use any punctuation
8) Use, too...much; punctuation!
9) As often as possible, skip rather than walk.
10) Ask people what sex they are. Laugh hysterically after they answer.
11) Specify that your drive-through order is "to go."
12) Sing along at the opera.
13) Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don't rhyme.
14) Put mosquito netting around your work area. Play a tape of jungle sounds all day.
15) Five days in advance tell your friends you can't attend their party because you're not in the mood.
16) Have your co-workers address you by your wrestling name, "Rock Hard."
17) When the money comes out of the ATM, scream "I Won! I Won! 3rd time this week!!!"
18) When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot yelling, "Run for your lives, they're loose!"
And the final way to keep a healthy level of insanity....
19) Send this to everyone in your address book, even if they sent it to you or have asked you not to send them stuff like this.

Lost Segal

Back in India, Erich Segal used to be one of my favorite authors to read. Our Murugan lending library in Adyar had stocked all his books. Since then, I have never seen a comparable Erich Segal collection anywhere else. The US libraries and bookstores, place to place for some reason don't seem to stock up on his books. I wonder why. I have read most of his famous novels. I am perhaps missing one or two in the whole set. But even Amazon doesn't have them. There's no real good reason, really. I just wanna buy all these books to fulfill another one of my visions, the book shelf vision. I have always envisioned that in my home one room will have a whole wall dedicated to a mammoth bookshelf (if not the whole room) stocked with my favorites so that when I have kids, they will by default share my taste in books ;) Wicked moi. I also have a wishlist on Amazon which I will popularize close to my birthday. That way people can feel free to add books to my shelf.

Update: Oooooh, Look what I found on Alibris - Almost the entire collection! :)

Too late to rejoice?

Have you ever felt that? You wait for something to happen soooo long. It begins with nervous excitement, that headrush and had it happened right then, it would have resulted in exhilaration. But it didn't... Th excitement paves way for impatience (why isn't it happening?) to doubt (am I doing something wrong?) to worry (I am doing something wrong!).. As more time passes, you start losing hope but still try to keep your spirits high - hey it could still happen. And finally when it does, there's no joy, no excitement. Just pure unbridled relief that floods every pore of your existence. Ever felt that? That's how I feel today.

August 20, 2007

Turning a new leaf...

No no.. I didn't change anything in my lifestyle to merit this post. I merely have relapsed to an old habit - one that I loved and had no time to do while in grad school - reading! Yes, inspired by my dreams and other blogs, I have chosen 7 books to finish before the end of a month starting from today. 2 are chick books as I have termed them, 2 are 2 parts of Feynman's famed autobiographies, 1 - a Diana focus and 2 excellent novels recommended by fellow readers. I am looking forward to my solitary time with these books. I received a big package of my books yesterday and I haven't felt that new book thrill since Harry Potter 7. The sheer smell of the pages, the feel of the paperback one some and the crisp jackets on the others all makes for a very enjoyable experience. I look forward to completing all these books and succinctly summarizing the ones I will recommend. BTW, the picture above is that of a 4 leaf clover and it signifies immense luck. The sheer fact that I have relapsed to reading is lucky, don't you think? I do :)

August 18, 2007

Hurricane Names

Did you ever wonder who gave the Hurricanes their names? Like Katrina, Joyce or even Rose? I read a news item about a recent Hurricane Dean which had been moved to category II or something. So I googled this and found this site: which lists the Hurricane names for the past many years. So when I saw the listings, I thought every year they began with a name from 'A' and hoped there weren't in excess of 26 hurricanes per year as they juggled past the alphabet. And I naturally assumed that Dean was the 4th of the year and hence the name. But browse to the last column, they already have names upto W. So does that mean that Hurricane Wendy has already blown past? If so, why is Dean still lingering? Am I asking too many questions? But admit it.. its a point to ponder.

On further reading, I came across this site: which explains that hurricane names have an expiry date too! And they put it across surreally and call them retired.

August 15, 2007

Fine man?

Ever had recurring dreams? Yeah I know they are usually about falling off a cliff or following a long winding corridor or something of that sort. Off late though, I have been having dreams that Richard Feynman and I are in conversation about Physics. And that at the end of it, he gives me his set of books which are totally famous for lucidly explaining hard concepts in Physics. Going by the fact that his lecture, "There's plenty of room at the bottom" was one of the key inspirations to drive me into Nanotechnology, I didn't want to ignore the dream when it came for the third time last night. Maybe there's something in those books. For starters, I purchased his anecdotes and short essays sketching experiences from his own life, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! and What Do You Care What Other People Think? Can't wait for them to get to me so I can read between thelines for messages from the beyond! :)


Nope.. not an Apple Product. Happy Independence Day!!! (couldnt get the white visible.. hmph) Its been 60 glorious years and we are poised to be the next biggest world economy (well, next to China maybe.. but as long as we beat them at keeping a lower population :D).


August 14, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

Spoilers/Plot Details Ahead
Ever since I saw the "Bourne is back" trailers back in May, I have wanted to see this movie. It is what appears to be the last of the 3 books by Ludlum on his amnesiac CIA assassin, Jason Bourne, played to a hilt by Matt Damon and the rest... The movie picks up right where Supremacy left off, the car chase in which Bourne evades the Moscow police.
The greats...
1. The Photography/Cinematography/Blah Blah - The camera is literally on Matt Damon's shoulder and they've made no attempts to smooth over the bumps, the jitters as the character melds his way around throngs of people. The effect? Brilliant. Worth everything that they had to suffer through to bring it in.
2. Matt Damon - He looks tired and old (thats because he has a new born baby girl with whom he spent sleepless nights) but it blends beautifully to form the core of his character and he's done a brilliant job throughout the movie. With his versaltality, he is definitely one of Hollywood's major male actors to reckon with.
3. The series - It was a well-knit tapestry with few holes and none gaping. The whole trilogy made a lot of sense and came together extremely well. Flashbacks from previous movies have been used very effectively to jog the audiences' memory.
4. The stunts - Some seriously brilliant stuff in the movie, many of which were performed by Damon himself. There's this one sequence in Tangier where Bourne jumps from the terrace of one building into a very narrow window through a glass pane which is sure to draw gasps. This is one of those stunts Damon has done himself. Quite brilliant.

The not-so-greats
1. In and out a sequel - Like many other Hollywood sequels, this movie is definitely not a stand-alone movie. Anyone watching without a background in Bourne, let alone not having watche dthe preceding two will surely find himself lost in the maze of facts, old and new.

Thats all the bad I could think of. The movie was swift, very very fast paced, fluid and gelled excellently with its past. At the end of it, though I saw it a week after its release, it invoked feeble applause from a very appreciative audience. Far more than just a 'time-pass', this movie's a must see for anyone who has seen any of the Bourne movies.
Rating: 8.9/10.0


Opulence? Extravagance? Stinking rich? Call it what you may... But these properties cost more to rent than I make (in a year!!)

August 9, 2007


Has it ever happened to you? You try calling someone.. there's nothing major to talk... You reach their voicemail. You don't leave a message. Yet you keep trying them every few minutes even though somewhere in your head you are certain you'll reach the message. It happens to me enough for me to question it. What's that urge? Why do we do it? Is it just the curiosity or is it something more? After sometime, if I can't reach the person my frustration with them increases for no real fault of theirs. I guess somethings are just what you're born with.


Can you believe that my bro's Blogger account was hacked into and the URL stolen??!? What's with people? Its a blog site for God's sake!!


Ever noticed how when you like something a whole lot, its likely to let you down? Like when you parade about the greatness/goodness of something you've got, it most certainly will backfire within days if not hours of your quoting it.. Its almost taboo to offer praise to somethings. Its like some vague form of Murphy's Law. Thats what happened with my gorgeous slider phone from Samsung. I consider myself someone very careful with electronics and gadgets... Needless to say, I have immense luck with them too. My phones in the past have been subject to washing machines, toilet bowls and even dishwashers and they've come clean (not just clean-looking) but fully functional out of each of these ordeals. Thats why it was heartbreaking when my Samsung decided to attempt suicide. I was at the gym (maybe the rarity of the event scared my phone) and very intelligently I placed it atop a pretty high equipment next to the one I was using. I don't know how it happened or why, within moments it jumped off the top........ and shattered into 2 huge pieces.. the slider and the base. You would think that 2 such pieces must be easy to put back together. Thats what I told myself... that the phone fell on the carpet.. that the impact couldn't have been that bad.... that if I sat down with it, I might be able to put two and two together. I was wrong. I started by delicately trying to nudge the 2 pieces together. While one side glided so easily in the slot, the other refused to go in. The nudge became a push became a sizable amount of force became all the strength I had. And yet it lay innocently in 2 distinct pieces. I tried calling my service provider and they shrugged off responsibility. I called Samsung and claimed that one fine morning as I slid the slider up to punch some numbers, it came off the base. I know it didn't sound believable but it was worth a shot. And off it went in an envelope to the repair center. Boo Hoo. Now I am back to the pink Nokia that I love.. But its hard to adjust to this basic phone after having the jazzy, fully loaded one. Life is such. Things change.

August 8, 2007


Alright... I am going to give everyone exactly 2 guesses on what this post is about. You have 5 seconds. Your time starts NOW... 5..4...3...2..1.. And you're wrong! All you over-imaginative folks, this isn't about any National Geographic's discovery of a spider spinning nanoscale nets.. nor is it about any pathbreaking research that I am conducting to evolve internet into some bizarre nano dimension.

Its about the internet options at K, the company I work for. They have disabled every conceivable website you might want to visit. I am amazed Blogger works. No GMail or any other email client except K-Mail (Not even, no enterntainment news.. no Craigslist, of course no Orkut. Having had all the liberty in the world at BN, its but natural that I crib now. When I didn't have a computer assigned the first day of work, I complained to my boss a bit. When I got the opportunity to use his computer for a little while, I realized that it finally was down to a machine with immense potential, but something that could'nt be tapped, I lost interest and was even a wee bit disappointed that I got a system on the 3rd day. Talk about an anti-climax! That leaves us with a nano-sized niche of sites that can be browsed purely for business purposes. Hmph. Incidentally, the name of this post bears similarity to how our previous generations of relatives are called, (eg. Patti - Kollu Patti - Yellu Patti - Kadugu Patti - notice how the prefixes become consistently smaller! :D) So, the internet that we have here at K is like the ancestor of what most other firms have I suppose and hence, Nano-net! Anyone who needs to reach me at work, rely on K-Mail!